The relatively new building which houses the University of Washington’s Ethnic Cultural Center has some significant artwork, including a mural on the ceiling (best seen from the 3rd floor) of the main space. Titled “Aztlan,” the mural was done by Emilio Aguayo in 1971 and relocated from elsewhere on campus to this building in recent years. Aztlan is the mythical ancestral home of the Aztec people, and Chicano student organizations of the late 1960s and early 1970s referenced it in their names, such as MEChA – El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (The Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan). It signified pride in and celebration of Mexican heritage. The UW MEChA chapter coalesced at the UW around the time this mural was painted.
Another of the building’s interior murals, “Viva La Raza,” was painted by UW students in a class led by Marylou Gomez and supervised by Prof. Luis Ramirez. More than a year (1997-98) was spent in planning and painting this piece.
Directly across the street is the old Ethnic Cultural Theatre building.